When I first went paleo it was out of a desire to determine if my health could be improved by changing the way I was eating. Undertaking a strict elimination diet was the key to improving my health and ultimately led me to a diagnosis of celiac disease. So I am big believer that anyone experiencing autoimmune disease symptoms owes it to themselves to find out if their health could be improved by a change in diet. For individuals whose symptoms are not fully eliminated after following the standard paleo diet you may wish to consider the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP).
Why Follow the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol?
The autoimmune paleo protocol was derived from research indicating autoimmune disease stems from inflammation in the body. Inflammation is often caused by an underlying problem with intestinal permeability (or “leaky gut”). When a person has leaky gut, irritation in the gut lining causes the tight junctions in the intestinal barrier to allow unwanted molecules (food, toxins, bacteria) into the bloodstream. The autoimmune paleo protocol eliminates those foods that have been shown to irritate the gut or cause increased permeability.
What is the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol?
The autoimmune paleo protocol is a version of the Paleo diet (no grains, legumes or dairy) that also includes the avoidance of the following:
- Spices derived from seeds (Anise, Annatto, Caraway, Celery seed, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Mustard, Nutmeg, Poppy, Sesame)
- Nighshades (Vegetables from the Solanaceae family of plants: Eggplant, White Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Pimentos, Paprika, Curry, Chili Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Cayenne Pepper, Tabasco sauce, et al.)
- NSAIDs (aspirin and ibuprofen)
Other Things To Consider for the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol
Healing from autoimmune disease does not only mean avoiding certain problematic foods. There are other things you can do to advance your healing.
- Meat Quality - Inflammation in the body is impacted by the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. You should aim for 1:1 to 1:3 ratio in order to regulate inflammation in your body.
- Make sure your meat comes from grass-fed, pastured or wild sources
- Include highly nutrient-dense organ meats in your diet from time to time
- Produce Quality – Eat organic produce as much as possible – if budget is a concern, focus on buying these foods in organic form:
- Heal and Manage Your Gut
- Get Enough Vitamin D
- Take Vitamin D3 Supplements
- Spend more time outdoors
- Manage Stress
- Avoid taking on more than you can handle
- Include low-level cardio activities such as walking and yoga
- Enjoy the wonders of nature
- Get Enough Sleep – 8-10 hours per night in a dark room
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
Are you overwhelmed yet?! Following the standard paleo diet can be difficult enough. And if you think undertaking the autoimmune paleo protocol is impossible you are not alone. But the good news is Mickey Trescott who runs the blog Autoimmune Paleo has written a new ebook. that will make the process MUCH easier.
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook contains over 110 beautifully photographed and fully autoimmune paleo protocol compliant recipes. You will also find:
- What to eat and avoid while on the autoimmune protocol
- Tips and tricks to make the AIP more simple
- Two 4-week meal plans
- Shopping lists
- Skills and staples for making things like bone broth and ferments
Changing the way you eat can have a profound impact on your health. Following the paleo diet or implementing the autoimmune paleo protocol can help you eliminate the need for medications for autoimmune disease (or allow you to reduce the dose). When you consider the high cost of healthcare, negative side effects of medications and continued symptoms it becomes clear that taking your health into your own hands can be well worth the effort.
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